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Microsoft Brings AI-powered Visual Search to Bing

The feature looks very similar to Google Lens that was announced during Google I/O 2017 conference

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Microsoft's beta Android launcher has digital health feature. Pixabay

Aiming to take on Google’s image recognition mobile app, Microsoft has launched a new “visual search” function for Bing which lets users click a picture of something with their mobile phone to search for it online.

“Today we’re launching new intelligent ‘Visual Search’ capabilities that build upon the visual technology already in Bing so you can search the web using your camera. Now you can search, shop and learn more about your world through the photos you take,” the Bing team wrote in a blog post late on Friday.

Logo of Microsoft outside it's office
Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office, Pixabay

The feature looks very similar to Google Lens that was announced during Google I/O 2017 conference.

It brings offerings seen from third parties that leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to perform quick and accurate object recognition on photographs.

Also Read: Microsoft Extends Education Push With Acquisition of Flipgrid, a Student Video Discussion Platform

“Imagine you see a landmark or flower and want to learn more. Simply take a photo using one of the apps, or upload a picture from your camera roll. Bing will identify the object in question and give you more information by providing additional links to explore,” the company added. (IANS)

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Software Giant Microsoft Aims to be ‘Carbon Negative’ by 2030

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft has set an ambitious goal to reduce its carbon footprint, saying that the company will become carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050, it will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted to date.

At an event at its headquarters on Thursday, the company announced a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove its carbon footprint.

“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

“By 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050. Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975,” Smith said in the presence of CEO Satya Nadella, CFO Amy Hood and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa.

The company also announced a new initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies.

“Beginning next year, the company will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain,” it said.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

The human activity has released more than 2 trillion metric tonne of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere since the start of the First Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s.

Over three-quarters of this is carbon dioxide, with most of this carbon emitted since the mid-1950s. This is more carbon than nature can re-absorb, and every year, humanity pumps more than 50 billion metric tons of additional greenhouse gases into the air.

Also Read: Drinking Low-Fat Milk Can Help Slow Down Biological Aging: Researchers

“We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. We are launching an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain,” said Microsoft.

“By 2025, we will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy, meaning that we will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 per cent of carbon emitting electricity consumed by all our data centers, buildings, and campuses,” the tech giant emphasized.

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030. (IANS)